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Wednesday, October 20. 2010
Stupid Christine O'Donnell. She claimed there was no rule in the Constitution requiring "separation of church and state."
Of course, she was right (but all of our readers know what is said in the Constitution because it is our nation's secular bible).
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The Constitution famously does not include the words "separation of church and state". It does prohibit Congress from establishing a religion. From the founding, this has meant that no government may require any person to be part of a religion, or to give up one's religion. According to Jefferson's later writings, especially the letter in which he uses the phrase about the wall separating church and state, the primary purpose of this clause is to keep governments out of church business. It has always been recognized as also keeping churches out of government business.
The questions arise when a government facilitates a religious operation. The government at any level should not be a barrier to religious exercise or expression, nor foist it on anyone who does not want it. Thus the high school principal should not open the public school commencement with a prayer to Jesus, but the valedictorian should be able to proclaim her faith in any terms she chooses.
As for providing a place where students may pray together on school grounds -- I say that's entirely appropriate. The agnostics and atheists need only skip it.
Msr. Brown, First Amendment applied to US Congress not "no government".
It did not prevent state government from establishing official churches.
Did not, but now arguably does due to the incorporation via the 14th.
Well #2, it's chivalrous of yall to come to aid of the ladies but First Amendment did not establish separation nor prohibit religion in state government.
There was no 14th amendment until 1868 and it wasn't prohibitively applied to issue until 1947.
Yall ain't Buddy's other half... is ya?
In all of the coverage of this, I have yet to see a comment from one of the Widener law students. They did not come out of this looking too good.
Yes, the scary part is that LAW STUDENTS laughed when O'Donnell said "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution.
I'll bet there's not a government school anywhere that still teaches Civics.
Later in the debate Chris Coons demonstrated that he couldn't name the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment. But that wasn't reported, of course.
Poor Missy Christine couldn't make it as a witch and she won't make it as me fer sure.
Faced with wholesale ignorance about what First Amendment does read she's right about this, fer what it's worth.
I wish she were brighter. During that exchange Coon pretty much stated that he believed the Constitution to be whatever comes out of the mouth of some unelected judge irrespective of what the plain text of the Constitution states. Had she called him on that and laid it out plainly and made him defend this vile belief, she might have a chance right now.
She's no genius. Neither is Coons. Coons is an arrogant putz.
America doesn't do so well when run by geniuses. It's just a good thing when they have read the doggone Constitution. That's all I ask for.
I see people are interpreting the first clause to the First Amendment in a way that favors their feelings, that the First Amendment does not dictate the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, one can interpret the first clause the other way, a way which enforces a separation of church and state, and that is how the courts have tended to do it. I'm no lawyer, but my impression is that case law has established the First Amendment as separating church and state.
Well Allan, thank yall sharing yall's feeling about the First's first clause which mentions nothing about separation or wall of separation between church and state.
It does read "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
The case law that incorporates Fourteenth Amendment with First Amendment Establishment Clause still does not authorize states to prohibit free exercise.
Notwithstanding, states prohibit free exercise.
When prayer is prohibited by states it is justified by people who feel and rehash inane separation argument.
US military has free exercise ingrained in Chaplaincies.
There is no "wall of separation" and the First Amendment was not ratified to raise such wall, regardless how yall feel.
" America doesn't do so well when run by geniuses. It's just a good thing when they have read the doggone Constitution."
That ain't askin for much.. What the hells the difference,?, when you have a demo or repub politician that has to answer
to the $$$ that require getting elected and staying in favor of the pacs i. e. lobbyists and ect,'s,Talk is just talk,I read the Constitution...
When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale.***John Gardner
Air is free wiskey cost money.....
Like it or not the 2 party system is pure sh*t in my strong opinion.
Have a good one!
All of America's Founding Fathers were believers in religious liberty. They wanted more than the "tolerance" the Catholic and Presbyterian churches had under English rule, they wanted all people to make up their own minds, and to be equal under the government regardless of their faiths. It is true that most of the Founders were Christian but it wasn't universal; Ben F. and Tom J. were probably not Christians and John Adams was a Unitarian.
I am not aware that any state ever tried to legislate an established church at the state level, although colonies had done so. Virginia's Declaration of Rights mentions Christian forebearance in establishing complete liberty of religion. So no, the Constitution hasn't got the magic words "separation of church and state". But yes, the Founders intended that separation. They never meant that separation to force religion on anyone, nor to imprede anyone's religion, short of something like human sacrifice.
I find it interesting that Jefferson himself in a letter to the visitors of UVA said that they preserved the separation by not hiring a professor of divinity -- because a professor of divinity would come from a particular tradition and that would imply state support for that tradition above others. Instead:
"the proofs of the being of a God, the creator, preserver, and supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, and of the laws and obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics"
perhaps, President Jefferson, a Virginian duty bound to practice Christian charity, spoke as ethicist when he ended his second inaugural address;
I shall need, therefore, all the indulgence I have heretofore experienced -- the want of it will certainly not lessen with increasing years.
I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in Whose hands we are, Who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life;
Who has covered our infancy with His providence, and our riper years with His wisdom and power;
and to Whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.
Msr. Brown, me thinjks yall spent too much time in school since yall missed the obvious.
First Amendment did not prevent state governments from establishing official churches.
Connecticut continued to do so until it replaced its colonial Charter with the Connecticut Constitution of 1818.
Massachusetts maintained establishment of religion until 1833.
Constitution of Virginia 1776 established "mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other."
Enjoy yall's studies.
O'Donnell was right; Coons was wrong: